I love quinoa. I really do. Give me rice, brown rice, couscous, and I’ll still be hankering for that bowl of quinoa. But, the truth is I can never really finish a serving of quinoa pilaf on its own, unless it’s got my favourite squash-kale combination spelled all over it.
I’ve had it in salads, granola, and more recently in a faux-pizza crust, but no other fanciful flavour quite takes the cake for me. That was, until I realise that you don’t need fancy to enjoy good food. And that’s when this easy kimchi fried ‘rice’ came into the picture, and I wiped out the bowl as fast as it took to cook it.
And just between you and me, I’ve had this 3 times in 2 weeks. Obsessed much? Continue reading
Since my first foray into tofu burgers, I’ve been playing around with a lot of recipes;- with breadcrumbs, without; with egg, without; with firm tofu, with silken tofu. And with that, comes several things I’ve picked up about tofu burger patties:-
1. Forget about the silken tofu. Save that for a chocolate mousse or a tofu brownie, and go firm tofu (or tau kwa) all the way.
2. It’s tempting, but try not to drop an egg into the mixture. That way, not only will you have a perfect meatless monday meal, you can safely serve it for vegan vednesdays as well. Okay, I totally made that up, but you get me.
3. Opt instead to pair tofu with vegetables like grated carrot and shredded zucchini, as well as black beans or pinto beans, to act as a natural binder, and added nutrients and flavour.
4. Season, season, season. Tofu’s pretty bland, which makes it a great vehicle for all sorts of flavours and spices waiting to burst on your palate.
5. Dry your tofu. The one I used here did not come in water, so it was perfect, but for regular versions, don’t skip the drying part, as tofu can contain a lot of moisture which will make your patties crumbly.
Many shun away from the idea of healthy cooking, but it’s easier and possibly tastier than you think. With simple ingredient substitutions in your daily meal preparation, you won’t need to sacrifice flavour to cut some calories. From organic raw virgin coconut oil in place of your regular vegetable oil, to puréed potato to thicken your soups and gravies, head over to Coconuts SG to read my full article on six healthy substitutions you can, and should, adopt in your cooking today.
My personal favourite substitution ingredient, if I may call it that, is the unassumingly creamy and buttery avocado, albeit not so much for health reasons as it is for dietary specification reasons (read: lactose intolerance). Much like my avocado egg salad sandwich, this ohmygoodness-why-didnt-I-think-of-this-sooner avocado potato salad takes on a greener twist on the well-loved potato salad, replacing mayonnaise with avocado. Equally creamy, a whole lot more healthy, and all kinds of tasty; even if you’re not averse to mayonnaise, or you’re a self-declared mayonnaise purist, you’ll need to give this a try! (Recipe after the jump.)
Some might consider quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) to be pretty much passé in the superfoods list, with farro looking to be quite the healthy food trend amongst food blogs right now. But with the United Nations declaring 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa, it is hard to overlook the benefits of this supercrop (aptly referred to as ‘mother grain’ by the Incas) be it on an individual level, or on the global scale of combatting food poverty and insecurity. Containing all eight of the essential amino acids, gluten-free and easy to digest, quinoa is certainly something you ought to find stashed in your pantry. However, it has not quite reached staple level around these nooks, mainly due to the numbing question of what exactly to do with quinoa.
In my early teenage years, one of the first few things I cooked in Home Economics class was a tofu burger, or a vegetarian burger as it was called back then when vegan / paleo / lacto-ovo / pescetarian diets were unheard of, and there were only two dietary specifications in class; meat-eating or non-meat eating. As someone who not only was clumsily nervous in the kitchen, but also detested greens and any incarnation of eat-it-cos-it’s-good-for-yous, I remembered scowling as I worked my skinny fingers through a squishy piece of tofu, some semblance of diced onions, and seasonings I callously threw in amidst fidgeting with my cooking partner’s apron strings. Interestingly enough, I remember being surprised that the end product actually looked like a (meaty) burger, smelled like a (meaty) burger, though I wasn’t convinced it would taste like one, hence proceeded to pack it home for my mom.
Almost two decades on, with a greater courage around the kitchen, and an appreciation for the aforementioned eat-it-cos-it’s-good-for-yous, it struck me one day to give an homage to my first cooking experience, and have that bite of burger that my indignant younger self had denied me of.
If you’re new here, you’d be surprised at the seemingly thousand-and-one things I don’t eat. If you’ve already been a long acquaintance here, you would probably know by now my aversion to the seemingly thousand-and-one things. Thankfully though, as mentioned in my previous post, pregnancy and the whole motherhood thang had changed certain aspects in my no-list. As much as the mister had long wished I would miraculously crave for cheese during the 37 weeks, my tastebuds to those icky things still remain status quo. However, my interest had definitely been piqued by several dishes, one of which is the simple egg-mayonnaise sandwich the mister seems to adore.
To be honest, I had never even tried, let alone stopped to wonder what the sandwich consisted of, and only learnt that it simply was what its name suggested during one of those making/packing-the-mister’s-lunch morning. Since mayonnaise falls under the category of dairy products I don’t eat, I decided to give an egg-mayo inspired twist to my usual mashed avocado on toast breakfast recently. I may not know how an egg-mayo sandwich tastes like, but if it’s anything close to this avocado egg salad sandwich, I can certainly understand its nondescript yet comforting(ly delicious) appeal.
When I was a young child, one with a distinctively smaller social circle and life experiences, I carried with me a larger-than-life simplistic deduction; that a vegetarian is, and by no other means had to be, a Buddhist. I’m guessing it had to do with the fact one of my best friends back then, JM, was a Chinese Buddhist, who coincidentally was a vegetarian, and also showed more interest in sucking the tips of her shoulder-length hair while every other girl was twirling theirs, but that’s another story for another day. I respected her home-packed green lunches, as much as she never questioned why I only ate from the stall with the green plastic plates. It was an unspoken mutual understanding between us, and even a common allegiance of sorts, with a straight-faced ‘She doesn’t eat meat’/’She doesn’t eat pork’ defence mechanism each time some brat comes by and attempts a ridicule.